Newspaper Page Text
the apostles of Christ" and "ministers, trans
formed into ministers of righteousness." If the papacy has not fulfilled the part, it would be hard to imagine anything that could. The worst anti-Christ we can imagine is a counterfeit of Christianity, or the man or men, who would coin such a counterfeit and pass it on the world. It is more "against God," and stands more effectively in the way of the growth of Christ's true kingdom than any pure paganism, heathenism or atheism could do. Our Confession of Faith and all the ecclesiasti cal histories we have studied, teach that Ro manism is such a counterfeit. While profess ing to be Christian, it is a form of idolatry, an apostasy, or "a falling away" from the ,true Christ; and when we compare the teach ings of the Bible with the teachings and prac tices of this so-called church, we see that our Confession of Faith and histories have taught truly. So we may safely say that Romanism has been the chief anti-Christ so far. But must we look for another, and a worse one to come? God forbid! Dr. Pitzer says, "Is God preparing the world for the coming of this lawless one? . . . There are many signs in the present unrest of the nations and peoples that lead many to think that the world is getting ready for Ins com ing." Rather, is God preparing the world for the coming of Christ, to overthrow "the man of sin," "the son of perdition," who has been working in the world "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders"? "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." But the most surprising sentence in Dr. Pit zer 's article is this: "The last form of or ganized society is universal democracy; and this spirit is now at work wide over the world, and this to end in anarchy, and the appear ing of the Satanic man." Universal democ racy to end in universal anarchy and prepare the way for the Satanic man ! Perish the thought. We thought that universal democra cy would prepare the way for universal peace and the better government of nations, and maybe hasten the coming of Christ in his kingdom. At least, we never read any where in the Bible that God' is against democracies; but, as He disapproved a king for Israel and the Saviour said that Ilis* people should not lord it over one another, as the kings of the Gentiles do, and his apostles set up a democrat ic government for his church, we got the idea that he is opposed to autocracies, and in favor of democracies; and we were thinking that in the awful catastrophe that is staged in Europe, the world is about to go back a long way towards God's original plan for the human race; and we were hoping that the war would end with all the great autocracies changed into democracies, and that the world would be in a state of preparation for the coming, not of the Satanic man ? but the Prince of Peace. Let us all pray that it may be so. Clarkton, N. C. SOME NEW DISCOVERIES. By George Hart-field. They are not really new discoveries, but they claim to be. I refer to some old theories dressed up in new clothes. They are to be found in a book written by Rev. A. E. Hatch, under the high sounding title of "The Divine Economy, or the Coming King and Kingdom." On page 19, hell is disposed of in this fashion : "The age of fear is passing ? let us be thank ful ! The fires of the theological hell are going out; they smoulder only in the creeds. The God of love is at last discovered." Many people in the world desire to abolish hell, and the short cut generally seems through the garden of God's love. It is almost refresh ing to be told that "the God of love is at lust discovered." On page 28 spirits are also disposed of with equal ease : "The ghost-hopes of the just ? who wants thorn? It would be a misfortune if they were true. . . . Who wants to live the life of the spirit world? . . . That saints go to heaven when they die ? who desires it? It might be accepted rather than a more tropical fate; but, really, do we want it? It is a thousand pities that these spirit notions of eternity have found their way into the professed Church of to-day . . . We all want to live; and we all want to live on the earth: we all want to live a real life, for t lie ghost life does not appeal to us." The real things to which the author alludes I understand to be material things, as distin guished from those things which we call spirit. If "God is a Spirit," and if there is no spirit, then .can there be a God? On page 116 the nature of God is set forth, in part, under the title of "the existence of matter," thus: "God is from all eternity. God is something. lie is not nothing. He is a being really existing in the heavens. We proved His reality, when we proved the first something, and if something existed from the beginning, and occupied space, and possessed attributes, it follows from our definition that it was matter. The popular notion of an im material God is a scientific impossibility. He must be real and material. ... We cannot con ceive of him as being otherwise than real. Matter, then, was co-eternal with the Creator." If matter is co-existent with God, then God did not create matter. And if there are no spirits, God did not create them. Then God is no Creator at all, so far as I can see. And if God is material, and if matter is co-existent with God, then it seems to follow that God is matter and matter is God, and matter was never, in fact, created, unless God was created. Then if God is the Creator, He must have created Himself, which is a reduction and ab surdum. The trouble with the author's whole position seems to lie in the unproved major premise, that an immaterial God is impossible. I do not like the phrase "scientific impossi bility," as applied to God; for, to measure God in terms of human knowledge seems dan gerously near the border line of blasphemy, if not just beyond the border line. Concerning matter, page 117, he goes even further, and declares that "Spirit existed from the beginning, and matter did not, then there was a time in the eternal long ago when He brooded over emptiness. But matter existed, it. always did, and it always will." Arguing in a circle proves nothing. John says, "All things were made by him, and with out him was not anything made that was made." Paul says, "His ways are past find ing out, for who hath known the mind or th^ Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" Science fails to take the measurement of God, and logic breaks down before Him. If the Scriptures do not declare that He is matter and do declare that He is Spirit, by what credentials may science speak concerning Him? On pages 177 and 178 the doctrine of the Trinity is boldly relegated to the trash heap. Listen : "Personal the spirit may be: but that person is God or Christ, as may be ... In its action, when we come to examine it scientifi cally, the Holy Spirit acts like a mighty divine influence. We know that in man there is a spirit, which is not a person, but a power. We all know that the belief in the personality of the human spirit establishes all sorts of ghostly and mythical superstitions. As the personal idea is overcome, the errors of the past are retired. So let them pass: and let us hail a better day of freedom from the errors and superstitions of yesterday." "Scientific examination" of the Holy Spirit! Who holds the commission to make it, and who has the knowledge to attest it? Some of us never did understand the doc trine of the Trinity any too well, as Pastor Kussell rather broadly intimates; but I beg to suggest that, in point of difficulty, scientific analysis of Deity caps the climax of downright absurdity. "It goes beyond beyant." By all means let us expurge hell if we can; discard "ghost stories" if they are false, and free ourselves of such superstitions of the past as still cling to us; but to materialize God is to return to ancient idolatry, and to define llis nature in terms of science is downright sacrilege. At any rate, I feel skittish along these lines when 1 remember that science once denied the rotundity of the earth, and proved the denial on the authority of the Scripture references to "all the ends of the earth" and to "the four corners of the earth." Vera, Fla. MOST TO BE ENVIED. By Mr. S. L. Marye. Who are the two persons most to be envied in all the history of the world? Shall we find them among the great orators, poets, and phil osophers of ancient times, or among the great ones of the modern world? No, not among them. Let us see where we shall find them. We read in the Scriptures that after Pilate had delivered Jesus to the multitude to be crucified ?they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, whom they compelled to bear his cross to Golgotha, where he was crucified. We are commanded by our Saviour to take up his cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24). This is, of course, a figurative expression. The cross here referred to is self-denial, service, consistent Christian life. We can all, if we so desire, bear this figurative cross, but it was permitted to only one man to bear the actual cross, and that man was Simon of Cyrene. He not only bore the cross, but he relieved the Saviour of the burden of bearing it, for at the first they compelled Jesus to bear it (John 19 :17) and then took it from Jesus and put it upon Simon, so that Simon relieved the Saviour of the burden of bearing it. Is he not to be envied for the fact that he not only bore the cross, but relieved the Saviour of the burden of bearing it? And so we say that Simon of Cyrene was one of the two persons most to be envied in all the world's history. The other person most to be envied is re corded in the twenty-sixth chapter of Mat thew. It was a woman, but her name is not given. When Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman with an alabaster box of very pre cious ointment and poured it on his head. Jesus said that wheresoever in the whole world the gospel should l)e preached this thing that this woman did should be told for a memorial of her. This prophecy is fulfilled whenever we read the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew. The odor of the precious ointment has come wafting a perfume down the long centuries even to the present day. Is not the woman who poured on the Saviour's head this oint ment one of the persons most to be envied in all the history of the world? Charlottesville, Va.